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A photo of a grumpy sea turtle apparently giving the finger won the top prize at this year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

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Mark Fitzpatrick

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While swimming off the coast of Lady Elliot Island in Queensland, Australia, photographer Mark Fitzpatrick encountered a sea turtle coming towards him.

At just the right moment, he snapped a photo of the turtle's flipper pulling back into what appeared to be a middle finger. Coupled with the turtle's grumpy expression, it made for a hilarious shot.

Fitzpatrick submitted his photo of "Terry the Turtle" to the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. Out of 7,000 entries, it was chosen as one of the contest's 42 finalists in September, and then announced as the overall winner on Tuesday. 

In a press release, contest organizers Tom Sullam, Paul Joynson-Hicks, and Michelle Wood said Fitzpatrick's photo was a "clear favorite with the judges." 

Mark Fitzpatrick

As the winner of the 2020 contest, Fitzpatrick won a safari in Masai Mara, Kenya, a Think Tank photography bag, and a Nikon camera.

In a statement, Fitzpatrick said it was amazing to see the reaction to the photo, "with Terry giving people a laugh in what has been a difficult year for many, as well as helping spread an important conservation message."

He continued, "I hope Terry the Turtle can encourage more people to take a moment and think about how much our incredible wildlife depend on us and what we can do to help them. Flippers crossed that this award puts Terry in a better mood next time I see him at Lady Elliot Island!"

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